On Dec. 6, 2019, USCIS announced that we would implement the electronic registration process for the fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) H-1B cap. Prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the FY 2021 cap, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and then pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.
The electronic registration process will dramatically streamline processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange, and will provide overall cost savings to employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
Under this new process, prospective petitioners (also known as registrants), and their authorized representatives, who are seeking authorization to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, will complete a registration process that requires only basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker. We will open an initial registration period for the FY 2021 cap at noon ET on March 1, 2020. The initial registration period will remain open through noon ET on March 20, 2020. The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will then be run on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
Prospective petitioners may create accounts beginning Feb. 24. You will not be able to provide registrant information until you create an H-1B registration during the initial registration period. Selections will take place after the initial registration period closes, so there is no requirement to register on March 1. Creating an online account is easy; please see the videos below.
For more information about the H-1B program, visit our H-1B Specialty Occupations webpage.
How to Register
In order to submit an H-1B registration, you must first create a USCIS online account.
Prospective petitioners (also known as registrants) will use a new “registrant” account that became available as of Feb. 24. Registrants will not be able to add additional information after they select “I am an H-1B registrant” account type until the initial registration period opens at noon Eastern on March 1. Registrants submitting their own registrations will enter their company information as part of their first H-1B registration. Registrants working with a representative will review company information that the representative enters. Please see the video below for instructions about setting up registrant accounts.
Representatives can create an account at any time before the end of the registration period, because they will use the same kind of account already available to representatives. Representatives who already have a representative account may use that account; they do not need to create a new account. Unlike registrants, representatives enter information about their law firm or organization as part of setting up an account. Please see the video below for instructions about setting up an attorney or representative account.
The initial registration period for H-1B registrations will open at noon on March 1 and run through noon on March 20.
Both representatives and registrants must wait until March 1 to create and complete H-1B registrations.
Registering online is quick and easy!
If you are a prospective petitioner (registrant), view the video below for steps on how to submit registrations without the use of an attorney or representative.
$10 for each beneficiary.
Registrants and representatives are required to pay the $10 non-refundable H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary before being eligible to submit a registration for that beneficiary for the FY 2021 H-1B cap.
H-1B Registration Process Timeline
Feb. 24: Prospective petitioners may begin creating H-1B registrant accounts (account creation will remain open throughout the entire registration period). Representatives may create an account at any time.
March 1: H-1B registration period opens at noon ET.
March 20: H-1B registration period closes at noon ET.
March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.
April 1: The earliest date that FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed.
Registration Selection Notifications
USCIS intends to notify registrants and their representatives with selected registrations via their USCIS online accounts no later than March 31, 2020.
A registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the four following statuses for each registration:
- Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, at which point all registration statuses will be Selected, Not Selected or Denied.
- Selected: Selected to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.
- Not Selected: Not selected for this fiscal year.
- Please note that a registration will not reflect a status of Not Selected until the conclusion of the fiscal year. In the event that USCIS determines that it needs to increase the number of registrations projected to meet the H-1B regular cap or the advanced degree exemption allocation, USCIS will select from registrations held in reserve to meet the H-1B regular cap or advanced degree exemption allocation.
- Denied: The same registrant or representative submitted more than one registration on the beneficiary’s behalf for the same fiscal year. All registrations the registrant or representative submitted on behalf of the same beneficiary for the same fiscal year are invalid.
H-1B cap-subject beneficiaries, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must have a “Selected” registration notification in order for a registrant or representative to properly file an H-1B cap-subject petition for FY 2021. Registrants and representatives will not be notified until the end of the fiscal year if they are not selected. The status of registrations not selected as part of any initial random selection process and not denied will remain as “Submitted.”